2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Our Lands need healing. Our hearts need healing. I don’t know what is going on in our world or in our country anymore. On one hand, it’s hard not to cringe watching news & I kept watching day after day, about who is killing who & all those lives lost, and for what reasons ? I’m sure all these people “THINK” they have good & explainable reasons to kill someone else whether it’s radical Islamic terrorists, or the men who killed police or the police who killed those black men or even Hitler or psychotic serial killers.
On the other hand, God told us that this would happen during end times Matthew 24:12-14 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold…..” So we, who are checking off the signs of His return should be happy but I don’t feel happy. I keep cringing & groaning when I watch the news.
I wasn’t sure if I should just turn off the news and pretend the world such as this doesn’t exist or fall on my knees & cry to the Lord. So I chose to pray. There was a call for fasting and prayer at my church but I decided I wouldn’t do it as the call was for Sabbath fasting (Friday evening to Sat evening). As much as I love to fast & pray I also don’t want to do it on a Sabbath as God calls Sabbath a Delight (Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight…..).
But I was thinking about these recent events & I was wondering How did we even get here ? As a Christian I would say because we have systematically removed God from our lives & taken away all the responsibility for our actions because as our history showed us we think we know everything & we are better than anyone else.
The only safety for us is when Christ returns. Mercifully God is holding back Satan’s plan to deceive everyone on this planet and to thus obliterate His creation.
In my daily worship I got the parable of who is my neighbor (the Good Samaritan) (Luke 10: 25-37)
God gave us Ten Commandments which are the Moral Law. Many Christians believe that these were just given to Jews, or these are nailed to the cross or what not… but these are the fence, if you will, to keep us from being irresponsible.
The first four are our acknowledgement of God the Creator & the next six are our duty to our fellow humans which the lawyer summed up in Luke 10:27 as “….And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”
The lawyer was trying to trip up Jesus into admitting that Jews have to love only Jews and Jews can’t love Samaritans. But how can anyone trip up God ? Honestly !! Like my pastor Dr. Leslie Harding said (he was a great great teacher) “we, humans, work very hard to be stupid”
Jesus was so clear on this this parable. The lawyer, I’m sure as a Jew, was very intelligent & very well versed in the Ten Commandments & he knew exactly what he was asking Jesus. He wanted to trap Jesus into telling him how important Jewish people were & how lame & unworthy Samaritans were. But God doesn’t see race, color of our skin or how good looking one is, because He created us in various colors, shapes & sizes. He didn’t clone us as that would be immensely boring.
Jesus knew this lawyer’s heart & thank God, He does see our hearts & gave this parable. God wants us to be merciful to others and believe me it is hard to be merciful sometimes to certain people. I’ve done this. Certain people test my patience & push the limits of my Christianity. There were times I’m like, “oh I don’t want to be a Christian at this moment, thank you very much” Like James (3:8) said, “but the tongue no man can tame… “ & I want to unleash it & I can do that in very vulgar language & in a few different languages as well. Even tho, for me it takes a lot to reach that point, certain people did do that & I am not proud of my language at those times but I love & serve a very forgiving God (says I sheepishly… please don’t follow my example LOL)
This year I had an encounter of that nature with a trainer at the gym where I workout who has been provoking me for over a year & half, & I ground off all my teeth, ignored & avoided when necessary but all my buttons were pushed & I royally exploded in very colorful language. I related this to my friend Jack & he goes, ‘you don’t have to behave like that just ‘cause someone else did & you are a classy woman but you reacted badly’. I wasn’t pleased with him at all & I was upset with him as well.
So imagine, when I was at church that Sabbath for worship services my pastor starts off on a sermon based on Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” I WAS NOT PLEASED AT ALL…. Really God ? You saw what I’ve gone through for so many months & I’VE BEEN GOOD in controlling my temper & once I lose it, God promptly comes running after me chastising me & admonishing me. I reported this as well to Jack saying that God & I are going to fight on this matter during my regular family worship on Sat night. Jack said it is okay to fight with friends who love you.
A couple of months later, this person was back with her usual tactics & I was getting angrier & angrier & this time I almost got hurt physically & I wanted to shout & scream obscenities but I held my tongue for two reasons: 1. God 2. There were kids in the vicinity. I just kept quiet & walked away. But the other members at the gym didn’t let it go. They all complained to the owner of the gym & made such a fuss that the trainer was let go. And I had to again marvel how God works ! When I was hollering, & complaining & grinding off my teeth, nothing, I mean, nothing happened & once I shut my mouth, He removes my obstacle. I am pretty sure, for all my education & my intelligence & reading tons of books, I am the stupidest of all the creation, and especially because I should have known better. Didn’t God say: Be Still & know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) ?
Anyway back to the issue of defining neighbor. These are our neighbors. People who hurt us. They don’t necessarily have to be strangers. But everyone hurts. They hurt in different ways. But they hurt nonetheless. They lash out when they were hurt. Christ said love your enemies. It’s mighty hard, but at least we can be merciful if not for their sake, but for our sake. Why lose our Christianity because of someone else ? It is also hard but give it to God. When you want to lash out, just pause & pray. It is hard at times to pray about our enemies or those who hurt us badly.
As I pointed out, even the “killers” have reasons for doing what they do otherwise they don’t do it. The reasons are based on our perception and is perverted because of our opinions, the environment we grew up in, our current lifestyle, etc. The only correct perspective would be God’s perspective which He clearly laid out in Ten Commandments. Thou Shalt Not Kill. & Christ did explain it further that We Shouldn’t Hurt Others with Words as well. No Harsh Words.
As a people & nation, we must turn to God & seek His face; we must pray for our enemies or those we perceive as our enemies like the Islamic terrorists; we must pray asking God to protect those who are being persecuted; we must pray to God to help us to stay firm in our belief & not deny Him, who saved us; we must pray that God binds our wounded hearts and heals our lands; we must pray that God forgives us of our sins; we must pray that we would be strong & that we would surrender to God with rejuvenated commitment.
Mighty, Holy God and Knower of secret thoughts ! accept our prayer, hear our cries not for our sake but for thy Name’s sake ! Forgive us & Heal us !